The Next Thing
By, Tamah Bryant
There are so many women in Biblical history whom I greatly admire. One of which is my (middle) namesake-Ruth. Short lesson I learned from her this week as I was making my way through the genealogies in Matthew...
"And Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth..." If we read on, we will soon see king David show up and eventually the King of kings, Jesus Christ, Himself.
I thought as I read those simple words that before Ruth ever set out on her journey, leaving her home and everything familiar to her after she had lost her husband with her mother in law Naomi-who had lost her husband and her sons, that God already knew all about Boaz.
Here was this wonderful, God fearing man who, for some reason, had never found love. He was wealthy and successful-kind and gentle. And yet...no wife. How long had Boaz waited, longing for someone to share his life with? How many women had he passed by because he did not see that special light a woman who fears the Lord possesses? Did he ever wonder if God had forgotten him?
But all this time, while God was giving Boaz great success in every area but love...God was stripping Ruth of all that she possessed. All that is, but her faith. And with everything He took from her, her resolve to follow the God of her mother-in-law only grew stronger.
I don't know the moment she realized that Naomi's God was also her God, but that realization must have been a beautiful moment. One I am truly looking forward to hearing all about one day...
Ruth was loyal-fiercely loyal. I so admire that about her. Ruth entered a foreign country, crushed. Pressed down like grapes in a vault waiting to be turned into wine. The very thing that made Ruth ri
se above her circumstances and not give into bitterness was her resolve to do what was right-no matter the cost. Her resolve to be content. She was not worried about class, comfort, or prestige. She concerned herself everyday with doing the "next thing" that she knew was right.
And we all know what the result of her willingness to present her life as a living sacrifice to God was. As she committed herself to God, He fulfilled one of the most beautiful promises I have ever read in the Scriptures-He committed Himself to her. She waited patiently as Boaz waited patiently. Until the very moment that God had planned and in exactly the way He had planned.
I imagine how excited God was the moment they laid eyes on each other for the very first time. That moment was a piece of the puzzle He was putting together that would eventually reveal a picture of the greatest love story ever written. It makes sense to me that this beautiful love story of Boaz and Ruth would be a part of His ultimate love story. His gift of Jesus Christ to a lost, hurting and dying world.
Are you in a tough place in your life? Are you lonely? Are you not sure what the future holds? Does it look bleak? Are you overwhelmed by the big picture? Put your faith and trust in God.
I don't know what your "Boaz" is. I don't know what God has planned for you, or when it will be revealed, but I do know He has a plan and He is faithful. I do know He requires submission and commitment from us, and He showers us with love, peace and resolve. Resolve to just do the very "next thing."